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Pack Saddle Shop
3071 West Twin Road
Moscow Idaho 83843
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HERD BOUND HORSES
Herd bound horses can be very dangerous. I borrowed Diamond, a pack horse from my friend Ed, when I was on leave from the army. Diamond was very attached to Wild Rosie and was always a problem when she was not with Rosie. When I was packing my elk out only with Diamond she was always in a hurry to get up the mountain. I tried to wrap the lead rope around a tree to slow her down and my thumb got between the rope and the tree for a split second. It felt like my thumb was being torn off.
After disciplining Diamond with some hard jerking on the lead rope we were off again but Diamond would not calm down. Every time I would tie her to a tree it was a struggle. Every time I would untie her from the tree she would try to rear up. I had to come up with a solution to the problem because packing with Diamond was dangerous for me and her.
On the second trip to pack out the elk I had two lead ropes tied to her halter. When at camp, I untied the first lead rope from the tree, Diamond reared up so hard her back legs slid forward and she fell down when the second lead rope became tight. Diamond never reared up again after that when I packed her.Diamond had learned a hard lesson.
If possible keep herd bound horses together for every ones' safety. I had to use one horse at a time as I was in a steep canyon and it would have been impossible to control 2 untrained horse going over logs, streams and through brush.
Another point, don't take wild horses into the mountains, train them. My good friend Ed only used his horses once a year and ignored them the rest of the time. Untrained horses in rugged terrain can seriously injure or kill you.
Training herd bound horses. If you do not have much experience with horses, and your horse is very herd bound, lead your horse away from the other horses and tie it securely a good distance and out of sight of the other horses. The horse will sometimes be quite aggressive in trying to get loose. Leave it tied up for several hours until it calms down. Repeat this process for several weeks or until the horse is no longer knickering or trying to get lose.
After this step lead the horse about a quarter mile from your other horses to determine how it acts. If your horse doesn't act herd bound mount and ride for about 15 minutes. A herd bound horse acts very skittish and looks for any reason to spook. A herd bound horse is dangerous to ride and will try to repeatedly turn and back to the other horses.and
If your horse still acts herd bound have a friend hold the horse while you mount. If you try to mount a herd bound horse the horse usually starts moving side ways and is difficult and very dangerous to mount. You can easily fall. If you ever fall mounting a horse let go of the reins immediately. Otherwise, by holding onto the reins you risk being under the horse while he is doing a tap dance on top of you.
After several rides you usually can mount the horse in sight of your other horses and go for training rides.
If you are not a very experienced rider I would recommend you hire a professional trainer tp retrain your herd bound horse. You don't want to be injured riding or packing a knot head.
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PACK SADDLE SHOP
3071 West Twin Road, Moscow Idaho 83843, 208-882-1791, ©2002
208-882-1791, 1-800-234-1150, FAX: 208-882-4297